Child safety seats are meant to protect your child in case of a crash. Car seats must meet certain standards, but sometimes a particular car seat model has a defect or safety concern. Staying on top of safety recalls increases the safety of your child each time she travels in her car seat.
A safety recall occurs when a defect is identified in a particular model of car seat. The recall could be for a number or reasons, including not enough protection for your child in a crash, flammable upholstery on the seat, malfunctioning of a part or the risk of a part coming off. A manufacturer still in business should fix the problem with no cost to consumers. If the company is out of business, you should destroy the seat, replacing it with a new safety seat.
Safety recalls are often publicized through news outlets when they are first announced. Watch the news reports and news publications, especially those targeted at parents. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration track safety recalls on many products, including child safety seats. The websites allow you to search through the list of recalled car seats to see if yours is affected.
Car seat registration allows you to hear directly from the manufacturer about recalls. Registering your car seat is as simple as filling out the card that should come with it. When you register the car seat, you are notified in the event the car seat becomes recalled. You can call the manufacturer directly if you cannot find the card or discarded it when you initially purchased the seat.
If you registered your car seat, the manufacturer should send you instructions on handling the recall. If you did not hear about the recall from the company, you should contact the manufacturer directly to determine the next step. Stop using the car seat immediately if the defect poses an immediate threat. If the problem is minor, you might receive a kit or replacement parts to fix the problem.
Safety recalls alert you to mass problems with the specific model, but you should also use your best judgment when it comes to your child’s safety in the car. Models more than 10 years old might not provide enough protection for your child. Look for signs of wear and damage regularly.